Could These Innovative Social Media Trends & Start-Ups Be the Next Big Thing?
Can you spot a winner? Feeling Lucky? Prefer to place your bets on intuition or maybe you are serious about positioning yourself for the next big thing. Whatever system you use, today’s article is sure to add insight, information and even a bit of inspiration to help you prepare for tomorrow’s best prospects.
Although we don’t have a crystal ball, as a social media management firm we make it our business to stay on the cutting edge or progress even in a field where progress is measured in a matter of days or even hours. It’s not an easy job which is why we take great pains to bring you the best insights, trends and start-ups long before it becomes common knowledge. Today is no exception. See what is in the works then give us your best guess which will be a winner, which will be a loser and which will simply fade into oblivion.
Involver – Never heard of this? You aren’t alone. This San Francisco based social media start-up was recently acquired by Oracle…a company not typically known for social media. In fact, Oracle is conspicuously…and uncharacteristically… active in the social sphere. Over the past few weeks, Oracle has acquired three social media entities leading many to wonder what the long term goal is for the computing giant. A quick glimpse at Involver might yield a few clues; according to the company website, Involver is a cross between a Facebook marketing developer and technology provider for the internal marketing team at Facebook. What does this really mean? Well, in short, it is yet another example of enterprise social media computing. Oracle seems intent to take on Salesforce/BuddyMedia other vendors which serve the B2B community.
Meebo – Not to be outdone, Google has made a move on Meebo, buying out the social advertising and content provider. Most likely a response to the Salesforce purchase of Buddy Media (yet another ad targeting firm), insiders agree the advertising and sponsored content space is about to reach new heights thanks to social media.
Virtrue – Yet another recent Oracle acquisition, Vitrue specializes in the creation of Social Media Management Systems (covered in prior articles). Not for the average small business owners, social media management systems are complex solutions to a complex social presence. They are also a major benefit to working with a full service social media management firm; by leveraging the collective power of several smaller companies, it is often possible to purchase the same type of system and insight made available to the big boys in business. Other players to watch in this space include Gigya, a self proclaimed intermediary between various social media sites and corporate websites.
Bazaarvoice – This online customer rating and review site is betting they can do it better than site specific sites like Amazon. Will it work? Only time will tell but apparently, investors think it is worth a shot. Bazaarvoice went public in February and purchased PowerReviews for over $150 million in May.
Social Media Activism – In recent weeks, social media activism has been getting a lot of attention as people realize the full potential to enact change, support special causes and even reward good behavior. From the outcry over the lifeguard who lost his job for saving the life of a man outside his designated zone to the $35,000 collective reward offered for the criminal responsible for the abuse of a rescued dog, social media activism is reaching new heights. Corresponding to this trend is the emergence of local social media charitable organizations, outreach programs and even vigilante groups.
Social Media Elderly Support – The aged have historically not been associated with social media; in general, they have been slow to adopt new technology. But hospitals, healthcare providers, families and community support groups are combining resources to reach out to the elderly with a combination of education, training and support. From pen-pal services that check in with isolated elders to cutting edge applications able to transmit health and medical data directly to the doctor or a family member, this is one of the most exciting uses of social media yet seen. Healthcare experts and home nursing staff believe this has the potential to revolutionize the practice of medicine while making a very real differences in the lives of the elderly.
Social Spotters – From locating missing pets to sounding the alarm over a missing child, time is often of the essence and few things are faster than social media. In fact, in a somewhat vain attempt to become more up-to-the-minute, major media outlets are now covering what is trending on social media sites rather than vice versa. It’s just one more example of how relevant and time sensitive social media has become. Of course, social spotters are not only involved with pets, children or missing persons; trend spotting is one of the most competitive areas of social intelligence with massive rewards of traffic going to those able to find and distribute a trend before anyone else.
Of course, that now brings us back full circle…do you have what it takes to spot the next big thing in the socialsphere? Give us your best guess on which of these will be winners, which losers or share your own ideas on the next big thing. Just don’t forget to position your social presence to take advantage of the early growth stage along the way!